Like LASIK, PRK greatly improves your vision by reshaping the cornea to focus light more directly onto the retina and is similar to LASIK in that the same type of EXCIMER laser is used. Instead of creating a flap to expose the cornea, though, with PRK, the entire epithelial layer is removed. After the laser surface treatment, a contact lens, which remains in the eye for several days, is used to aid in the healing process. While waiting for the epithelial layer to heal, patients should expect to rest for several days. Some patients report a scratchy foreign body sensation initially and blurry vision for a few weeks.
The initial healing may take several days longer than that of LASIK, but the long term effects are the same. If LASIK visual acuity outcomes are compared to PRK six months postoperatively, the results are comparable. The PRK patients, however, take longer to stabilize.
PRK is performed less frequently since the development of LASIK, but in some individual cases, PRK may still be the procedure of choice. If you’ve been told you are not a candidate for LASIK and would like to learn more about PRK, schedule your complimentary consultation today.